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Our Catering Events Manager, Christina was interview by our friends at Glass Slipper Event Planning. She could have talked for hours about selecting a menu, organizing the big day and (her favourite topic) planning the perfect bar. Check out her Q&A below, and get to know us better.
Question: What’s your business name and tell us a bit about yourself?
Answer: We are The Black Radish Catering Co., we run our kitchen along side our sister restaurant The Fat Cow and Oyster Bar, allowing us to work with suppliers to source high quality ingredients, produce restaurant quality food and offer a high level of service at every event we work on. The common piece of feedback we get from our clients is that people are still talking about how amazing the food was. Planning, creating and serving amazing food for our clients is what drives our business.
Q: What products/services do you offer?
A: We offer everything you need to have a great wedding. We start with food and work closely with our clients execute our menus to their liking. We also really love doing things outside the box—like the bride and groom who wanted freshly fried chicken and biscuits as their wedding meal, or the couple that wanted a mac and cheese bar as their midnight snack. Our Executive Chef, Chris, really knows how to have fun with food and make an unforgettable meal.
We pair this with our bar service, where we bring the liquid fun the party. From helping our clients select local wines (we love Kalala Organic Winery and Hillside Estates), sharing our favourite craft beers (shout out to 4 Winds and Parallel 49) or coming up with a unique signature cocktail Our bar manager Elliott has a knack for remembering people’s drinks (and telling dad jokes in the process).
Next come service, our manager Emmy, works with our team every night at the restaurant and that makes things run so smoothly when we work on a wedding. Our team know how to work together, they’ve nailed the art of reading a room and know how to anticipate needs.
Finally, we make this all come together with planning. Our Catering Events Manager Christina (armed with her excel spread sheets, check lists and contact list of event planning vendors), works closely with our brides and grooms to make sure that all of these elements come together seamlessly to make for a perfect day.
Q: What inspired you to start your business?
A: We opened our restaurant The Fat Cow and Oyster Bar in 2012, and we quickly developed a loyal group of regular customers who wanted our food beyond the restaurant: they wanted us to cater their weddings, cocktail parties, galas and more. Thanks to this demand, we now run The Black Radish Catering Co. so we can share our food in lots if different ways.
Q: What is one thing that sets your business apart from other similar businesses/services?
A: The first thing that sets us apart is our planning. For a lot of couples, the food and drinks are the most important element of their wedding so we know that this requires a lot of attention. Christina joined our team as our Catering Events Manager in 2015: she’s planned awards ceremonies for 500+ people, food tasting events (where she had to answer to celebrity chefs like Virkam Vij and Rob Feenie) and weddings. With this background she is able to guide our couples though what can be a stressful process, and make it efficient and fun.
The second thing is that with our restaurant The Fat Cow and Oyster Bar, we are constantly cooking many of the dishes or working with the ingredients that we use with our catering menus. This means that our food is made fresh and with restaurant quality ingredients with the expertise of a chef who is in the kitchen full time.
Q: What is your most popular product/service?
For traditional weddings its our deluxe family style menu because we offer a great selection of crowd pleasing dishes that suit even the pickiest eaters and can be customized for various dietary restrictions. This option also includes passed canape service so guests can enjoy some tasty bites before dinner. Plus, there something so special about the family style service is extra meaningful at weddings, its interactive so dishes are passed around and guests served each other, it really adds to a love filled, family focused day!
For non-traditional weddings (think: cocktail receptions), our cheese and meat platters are a hit. We combine this with passed canapes like The Fat Cow Slider and mini chicken pot pies, and this sets the tone for a laid back and fun party.
A: Where can people find your products/services?
Our headquarters are at in 201st and 96th in Langley, our catering team spends Saturdays before we open for dinner meeting and offering tastings for our clients (bonus: with our fully stocked bar, we can test out signature cocktails give you samples of beer or wine that you may want to serve your guests).
We offering catering throughout Metro Vancouver (from Chilliwack to Vancouver and everywhere in between) and we’ve worked in a variety of venues, from Community Halls, upscale heritage buildings to private residences. We can produce great food anywhere.
Q: Any additional information brides should know about your product/services?
A: We want brides to know that we understand how overwhelming getting married can be, and we’re here to help them through that process. We know providing excellent catering is so much more than bringing food and getting your guest count. We will walk you through the details, provide you with a tasting to make sure you LOVE the meal you are serving and ultimately make sure on the day of your wedding, we deliver a memorable and fun meal that your guests will be talking about long after the reception is over.
Q: What are some tips you could offer brides when looking for vendors of your specific type of service/product?
A: There are three questions we think are important:
- What type of planning support do you provide? Make sure your caterer provides you with checklists, deadlines and task lists to ensure that you get all the details they will need. It’s important that you have the resources you need to provide them with the information to make your meal a success.
- What rentals are included? Make sure you have a clear understanding of who is providing things like, tables, linens and chairs. It’s worth your while to rely on the expertise of your cater to take care of sourcing and set up of these items.
- If you care about the food (think: you don’t want to serve a rubber chicken dinner), it’s good to ask where the food comes from (who are their suppliers, how often do they get their meat/seafood in fresh)? Does anything they serve come pre-packed, pre-cooked or frozen? For us, to ensure the quality and integrity of our food, we know our suppliers and have all meats and fish come in fresh for each event we work on. The difference this makes with the quality of the food we are serving is the reason brides, grooms and guests tell us, “that was the best wedding food ever!”